While we certainly are not wishing the summer away, the holiday season is now on the horizon. As a Shopify merchant, you’re likely already considering how to make the most of the holiday shopping season and end the year on a high note.
While there are a number of ways to begin preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year, we recommend starting with a performance checkup for your store. Below you’ll find some important metrics to consider when trying to boost your store performance.
Time on site and average session duration
Time on site or average session duration is an extremely valuable metric when it comes to determining the effectiveness of content on your home, collection or product pages.
For example, if you determine that visitors are spending more time on product documentation or info pages, it may signify that your audience is looking for additional information prior to making a purchase. Thus, you may want to consider having an educational approach when curating your content schedule so as to more effectively communicate product features and benefits to potential customers.
In order to track the average session duration effectively, you’ll want to add a Google Analytics tag to your Shopify store. This can be done quickly and easily in the preferences section of your admin.
It’s important to note that the length of time it takes for customers to purchase will vary greatly depending on the niche your business exists within, as well as the price point of your products. Generally speaking though, the longer an individual stays on your site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Understanding how quickly content and pages load in your store is important to know, as it directly affects the rate at which your customers can navigate throughout your store, which will either result in a higher or lower conversion rate and improved user experience as a result. Simply put, faster store=more sales!
The Shopify team recently added a new report to the store admin dashboard to help merchants and partners gauge and measure online store speed. The new report runs speed tests for merchants' home, collection and product pages, and then combines each page’s Google Lighthouse speed score into an overall score. Scores are then compared to online stores in a similar niche.
To access the store speed report, go to analytics>reports> behavior and find it listed at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
Note: Shopify is still in the process of making the report available to 100% of merchants, thus if you don’t see it in your store yet don’t panic, it’ll be there soon! In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more click here: https://www.shopify.ca/blog/shopify-site-speed
Online store conversion rate
Conversions and conversion rate are both vital metrics when measuring the success and performance of your store. Your conversion rate is quite simply, the percentage of sessions (visits) that resulted in orders or purchases, out of the total number of sessions. It's calculated by dividing the number of conversions in a given time frame by the total number of store visitors and multiply it by 100%. For example, if your store had 1200 visitors and 50 conversions last month, your conversion rate is 4%. An ideal conversion rate to strive for is generally speaking anything over 3%, which would put your store in the top 20% of all Shopify stores according to recent data from Blend Commerce.
Checking for broken links
Another simple thing you can do to improve your user experience and store performance is to go through your pages and ensure any and all links lead to live web pages once you click them. It can be easy to forget about a blog post you wrote four years ago, however, if you're keeping up with evergreen content (and we encourage you to do so) your visitors might still find that information useful. Thus, it's important that readers don't end up on a 404 page as a result of clicking on an old link. There are a number of apps available in the Shopify app store, such as the SEO Manager by venntov.